Jan 17, 2006- Kaptur Visits Bittersweet Farms to Offer Congratulations on $1.3M HUD Award

June 12, 2007
Press Release

Whitehouse, Ohio -- Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-9) visited Bittersweet Farms today, a treatment facility for individuals with autism, to announce a $1.3 housing award for the construction of 12 new residential units on the organization's property in Whitehouse, Ohio.

The award will allow the facility to serve more adults in a residential setting. Currently, over 100 adults are on the waiting list and the expansion of the facility will alleviate the waiting time for admission to the program. The new housing initiative will be called the Bettye Ruth Kay Homes in honor of Bittersweet's founder, and will be located in the western field of the farm on the south end nearest Archbold-Whitehouse Road. Preferred Properties, Inc. helped to prepare the grant application and will act as developer.

"Thanks to organizations like Bittersweet, families of autism will benefit from this expanded treatment model in the spirit that Bettye Ruth Kay intended," said Kaptur. "I believe sufficient resources must be allocated to ensure that individuals with autism receive the care they need and are able to reach some level of independence. Researchers are making exciting advances into autism and our communities are becoming increasingly aware of the complexity of this disorder."

The award comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Section 811, Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities program. Kaptur has served for nearly twenty years on housing committees and is a member of the Congressional Autism Caucus in the House of Representatives.

In 2000, Kaptur secured a grant to Swanton Township for infrastructure for Bittersweet Farms and Camp Courageous, a summer camp for mentally retarded and developmentally disabled children and adults which is also located in Whitehouse, for Fiscal Year 2001 from U.S. EPA through the formerly-titled VA, HUD & Independent Agencies Appropriations bill. The money was used for a water line to serve the two institutions that had been using wells and therefore were not able to grow.

Bittersweet Farms was created by a concerned group of parents, community leaders, and professionals in 1977 and has grown to an 80-acre site serving 21 individuals in the residential program, nine individuals in a supported living unit, 40 individuals in a day program, 15 individuals in a summer program, and six individuals in a supported employment program.